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Kayaking with Wildlife in Brisbane

Home > Brisbane > Adventure | Animals and Wildlife | Boating | Outdoor
by Roz Glazebrook (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published December 1st 2016
I've just started getting back into kayaking after many years. I used to kayak in North Queensland down crocodile infested rivers and in the sea, but since moving to Brisbane 11 years ago my kayak has been sitting under the house. A few months ago I hosed it down and got it back in the water.

So far, I've only been to two different areas, which I have enjoyed a lot, but I'm planning on exploring a lot more places.

The first area I found was Enoggera Dam at Walkabout Creek just past the Gap. A friend invited me out there for a bushwalk. When I saw the dam I realised it would be a great place to paddle.

Enoggera dam picnic area
Enoggera dam picnic area

Enoggera dam was built in 1866 and was the first major water storage dam in Queensland and the second in Australia.

The most exciting thing I've seen on the dam was a prehistoric lungfish, which came up right beside my kayak one morning for a gulp of air. I was so close to its big open mouth I could have reached down and touched it. Sixteen Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) were released into the dam in 1896.

Paddling Enoggera Creek
Reflections in water

There is a large sea eagle's nest on the river bank and you can watch eagles circling as you paddle along. Large groups of cormorants and tortoises sun themselves on logs along the river.

The second place I've discovered is the Tinchi Tamba Wetlands Reserve. Tinchi is the Aboriginal word for mangrove, and Tamba, the Aboriginal word for Ibis. The Reserve is over 380 hectares and part of a network of coastal wetlands on the edge of Moreton Bay. It is 19 kilometres north of Brisbane City, between Pine River and Bald Hills Creek. The environment contains tidal flats, mangroves, salt marshes, melaleuca wetlands, grasslands and open forest.

I went with a couple of friends who were on their Stand Up and/or Sit Down (when the winds came up) paddleboards. We paddled through thousands of Blue Blubber jellyfish (Catostylus mosaicus) and saw lots of flying fish and a couple of large stingrays. It was peaceful paddling near mangroves watching the birds.

Tinchi Tamba Wetlands
Jodie and Monique paddling

It was difficult trying to avoid the jellyfish, as they were everywhere just below the surface. My kayak glided over them without any problems, but Jodie and Monique jerked forward when their board fin ran into one. The jellyfish are native to eastern Australia, from Torres Strait to Victoria. They are a beautiful blue colour in Queensland. They grow to 35 cm and have a dome-shaped bell.

Roz at Tinchi Tamba wetlands
kayaking with jellyfish

Both Enoggera dam and Tinchi Tamba wetlands also have walking tracks and picnic areas. Walkabout Creek Adventures has recently started hiring out paddleboards and kayaks at Enoggera dam.

There is a good café, Green Tree Frog Cafe at Walkabout Creek and a Wildlife Discovery Centre where you can see native Australian animals.

We are lucky to have wild areas to explore close to Brisbane.
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Your Comment
Great article, Roz - welcome to WEN!
by Elaine (score: 3|6488) 996 days ago
thank you
by Roz Glazebrook (score: 2|621) 996 days ago
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